Fascinating interview with writer Valerie Weaver-Zercher about her book, The Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels.
Browse the inspirational-fiction section of most bookstores, and you will find cover after cover of comely young women wearing dresses with capes, and often pensive expressions . . . . Occasionally a male figure lingers in the background, his face obscured by a hat, but more often the Amish maiden is alone in her pastoral reverie, gaze averted and thoughts inscrutable.
So begins Valerie Weaver-Zercher’s Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, an in-depth analysis of the appeal of Amish fiction. She looks closely at writers, readers, and the cultural changes at the heart of this phenomenon. And a phenomenon it truly is: 95 new Amish romance novels were published in 2012, at “the rate of about one every four days.” (4)
I met Valerie at a lecture she presented at Eastern Mennonite University in October 2013. She noted that…
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